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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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Witches of Glum? It’s Just Nonsense Isn’t It?


I’ve made a career out of creating engaging, innovative training exercises, used by professional trainers around the world. But even I have to admit that at face value, some of them might seem a bit, well, daft.

A good example is Witches of Glum, recently added to Managers’ Library. (A slightly different version is also available as a free sample in Trainers' Library.) It’s an exercise based on a fairy tale, so you might initially wonder how it could possibly be of any help to you and your business.

To understand the power of Witches of Glum you’re going to have to use it, but first, let me explain why it works, and why it matters.

I was reading an interview recently in which Heather Melville, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Head of Inclusion Initiatives at RBS said, “We need to stop thinking of diversity as something we do to people.” Part of the solution she believes is addressing unconscious bias.

I couldn’t agree more. In order to address issues of diversity, we need a better understanding of where bias comes from.

That’s where Witches of Glum comes in. In a very safe, and fun way, it shows everyone, and I mean everyone, that we all have inbuilt beliefs that shape the way we view other people or groups of people.

Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Read the story, once, and then respond to the statements in the handout, without referring back. Then, and only then, read the answers.

If it’s too late, and you’ve already read through the exercise, test it today on your team. I guarantee a wow moment as they realise the extent to which their past experiences have shaped their current perceptions of the characters in the story.

The real power of Witches of Glum is that it helps people to understand and accept that we all have prejudices, and that they are not our fault. That’s why it’s been used by professional trainers for many years and been endorsed by the charity Show Racism the Red Card.

By making people aware of their own unconscious bias, you make them more open and receptive to learning and change, which in turn makes tackling issues around diversity and equal opportunities much easier.

Try it. I guarantee you’ll be pleased you did.

Rod Webb

2 Responses

  1. I have used this session many
    I have used this session many times successfully. I have used it for Senior Execs to Junior employees. The feedback I usually get with this one is ‘Oh I never realised how bias I am, I listened really carefully and did not get a question correct. It shows that I have opinions even on Fairy Tales’.
    This session is a real eye opener for everyone I have ever used it on. Great for Team building and Management Development.

    Thanks Rod

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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